The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) and the Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences (PHS) have entered into a contract with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to apply a new initiative to monitor social inequalities in COVID-19 and assess the prevalence and severity of long-term symptoms of COVID-19.

It is with great pleasure that we announce the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has awarded a new two-year grant to support “Testing the predicting power of social determinants of health indices on outcomes to improve Medicare payment,” a research collaboration between the American Board of Family Medicine Foundation (ABFM Foundation), the Stanford Center for Population Health Sciences (Stanford PHS), and the U.S. Census Bureau. The period of the grant began on December 1, 2021 and will carry through November 30, 2023.

U.S. News & World Report releases medical school rankings each year which have significant influence on institutional reputations. In 2021, U.S. News made a major shift in their data sources and measures that resulted in rankings to reflect a broader range of social mission metrics.

New Primary Care Focused Performance Measure Accepted by CMS On November 3, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) accepted a newclinical quality measure into their Quality Payment Program (QPP) Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) for 2022, which will be available to primary care clinicians through the QPP in 2022.

Earlier this year, we emailed you encouraging your participation in the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) “Draft Standards for Continuing Certification – Call for Comments.” The ABMS Board of Directors recently approved the new Standards for Continuing Certification (Standards) at its October meeting after receiving a great deal of feedback during the process from a number of individuals and organizations. Coming out of the work for the Vision Commission, these new Standards for all certifying boards were developed after more than a year of deliberation; ABFM was pleased to have broad representation working within the task forces that led to their development.

There are many ways to fulfill your Performance Improvement requirement for ABFM continuous certification, and thanks to the quick thinking of Dr. Wendy Biggs, a new option has just arrived.

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) recently announced the elections of its newest 100 members at its annual meeting. Election to the NAM is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.

Communities need timely data to understand the health of their citizens and to plan improvements. In the last five years, communities lost the heath data tools critical to a healthy community.

Independent physician-owned practices have cost and quality outcomes that are equal to, or better than, practices owned by systems, and the loss of independent practices could harm primary care access, quality, and costs. In a recent policy brief published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, One-Third of Family Physicians Remain in Independently Owned Practice, 2017-2019, authors Diane R. Rittenhouse, Andrew W. Bazemore, Zachary J. Morgan, and Lars E.

The Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB), which supports its member state medical licensing boards, has recently issued a statement saying that providing misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine contradicts physicians’ ethical and professional responsibilities, and therefore may subject a physician to disciplinary actions, including suspension or revocation of their medical license. We at the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM), the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM), and the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) support FSMB’s position.

New England Journal of Medicine article by primary care leaders sounds an alarm about our nation’s crumbling primary care infrastructure and calls on Biden administration to urgently appoint a Secretary’s Council on Primary Care as recommended by National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report.

Staying current with medical literature can be challenging for any physician, especially as they care for patients and balance countless other responsibilities. That’s why the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) is proud to announce the launch of the National Journal Club Pilot. This new service provides ABFM Diplomates access to the latest peer-reviewed articles and the ability to earn certification points.

The National Academy of Medicine (NAM) has selected Steven Lin as the 2021 James C. Puffer, MD/American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) Fellow. Dr. Lin is a clinical associate professor in the Division of Primary Care and Population Health at Stanford University School of Medicine, Family Medicine Service Chief at Stanford Health Care, and Head of Technology Innovation for Primary Care and Population Health. He earned his MD from Stanford and completed his medical training at Stanford’s family medicine residency program at O’Connor Hospital.

We are pleased to announce the election of four new officers and four new board members. The new officers elected at the American Board of Family Medicine’s (ABFM) spring board meeting in April are: Michael K. Magill, MD, of Salt Lake City, Utah as Chair; Lauren S. Hughes, MD, MPH, MSc, of Aurora, Colorado as Chair-Elect; Wendy Biggs, MD, of Saginaw, Michigan as Treasurer; and Daniel Spogen, MD, of Reno, Nevada as Member-at-Large of the Executive Committee.

The number of family medicine residents with more than $250,000 in self-reported educational debt increased by 81% over a 5-year period, according to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

Every year, more than 45,000 medical students graduate and start additional residency training that will determine their practice specialties. A formal Match helps students and programs choose each other and that process starts with an application process managed by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).

Social determinants of health have greater influence on health than health care, yet Medicare and most other payers have held out on adjusting payments to better support clinicians’ capacity to address social needs. In 2014, the US Congress charged the Secretary of Health and Human Services with answering whether and how to accomplish this. And while a series of reports commissioned of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) recommended the need for such payment adjustments, the Secretary has not delivered a policy.

The ABFM research department, in partnership with the Robert Graham Center for Policy Studies in Washington D.C., is launching a multi-year policy brief series on Examining Equity and Diversity in the Family Medicine Workforce to be featured in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine (JABFM). The first policy brief is scheduled to be published in the November-December 2021 issue, with a series introduction to appear in the January-February 2022 issue.

The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) “Draft Standards for Continuing Certification – Call for Comments”  is open through Thursday, July 8, 2021 @ 11:59pm CST. The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) encourages all Diplomates to participate.

High-quality primary care is the foundation of the health care system. It provides continuous, person-centered, relationship-based care that considers the needs and preferences of individuals, families, and communities.

Family physicians provide nearly 20% of all clinical outpatient visits, translating to 200 million visits in the U.S. annually.

The American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM) is pleased to announce the launch of the redesigned MyABFM Portfolio.  MyABFM Portfolio (previously Physician Portfolio) is a new and improved website designed to provide a convenient, easy to navigate, personalized tool for Diplomates to track their progress with continuous certification, lifelong learning, and professional development in family medicine.

On behalf of ABFM, we are pleased to share the following news release from Annals of Internal Medicine featuring a recent article, Estimated Effect on Life Expectancy of Alleviating Primary Care Shortages in the United States, involving ABFM collaborators.

Research is fundamental to understanding the roles and responsibilities of family physicians and their impacts on health outcomes, which are essential to improving population health. Academic departments of family medicine are consistently relied upon as the major contributors of research in family medicine.

Approximately 28 million reproductive-age women in the United States live in rural counties, yet over half of rural counties do not have an obstetrician/gynecologist. Family physicians play an important role in providing obstetric care in rural communities, with hospital based obstetric services often relying on the ability to offer cesarean sections. A recent study by the American Board of Family Medicine found that 6.7% of family physicians provided obstetric deliveries and 1.6% provided cesarean section deliveries as the primary surgeon.

Last year, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) announced plans for a major revision of the accreditation standards for Family Medicine residencies. Since then, the major family medicine organizations have collaborated to inform the work of the Family Medicine Review Committee and ACGME as they prepare to define the requirements that will outline the training guidelines to prepare future family physicians. This is a historic opportunity to rethink health care and residency education.